The Offense of Christ

Kevin DeYoung:

C. S. Lewis was right. Jesus cannot be just a good, moral teacher. He said so many audacious, outlandish things that he must either be a liar, a lunatic, or Lord. Jesus was not just one of many pointers; he was the point. Not just a prophet, but the fulfilment of all prophesy. Not just a lord, but the Lord of lords. Not just a godly man, but the God-man.

Our world suggests that there are any number of saviours  and they are not all religious or “spiritual.” The world says, “Here’s what will give you purpose. Here’s what will give you meaning. Here’s what will help you feel like a better person. Here’s what will deal with the guilt you have in your life. Here’s what will give you satisfaction.” The list of saviours is ever expanding: technology, art, diets, sex, entertainment, education, morality, humanitarianism, sincerity, hard work, patriotism, politics. But according to God’s Word, they do not save.

This has always been the offence of Christianity: that we are guilty of sin; we are all in need of a Saviour; and the only Saviour who can truly save is Jesus Christ the Lord.

This was the message that is proclaimed over and over again in the early church. It didn’t matter if the Apostles were talking to Jews or Gentiles, servants or masters, ordinary people or religious people or the highest ranking official in the Romans Empire. The message was the same. Still is. Repent. Believe. Look to Jesus for the forgiveness of your sin. Submit yourself to him. Open your heart to him. Trust in him. Look to him for the hope, the healing, the new life that only he can give.

The scandal of Christianity is that there is only one way. The good news is that despite all of our selfishness and all of our stubbornness and all of our sin, there is still a way.


Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

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